Greatest Garage Sale In American History
When was the last time you took
inventory of all the things in your garage, attic, storage locker, or
basement? Is it possible you have a dust covered pile of money in there?
Even though many of them do, it doesn’t take a personal finance TV show
host to tell you one simple way to pay down debt is to raise some quick
cash with a garage sale. Those unused and forgotten items can often raise
enough money to put the final nail in the coffin of bills that have been
sticking to you for too long.
A garage sale can give you a sense of a clean start in a couple ways.
First, you have cleaned out your house and may now have new space to use.
A little bit of sprucing up in the freed space could even give an old
house an inexpensive, but new and refreshed look. Secondly, the money you
raise from your garage sale will give you the funds you need to finally
pay off some of those smaller bills you have been longing to ditch. Wiping
away even one bill for good will give you a renewed energy and refreshed
feeling about your finances.
A garage sale doesn’t have to be complicated. You won’t need a marketing
budget or sales manager, and you are not competing with the JCPenny or
Macy’s Christmas sales. The website YardSaleQueen.com offers many great
insights in both selling and buying at garage sales. There are basic
strategies that can help maximize the amount of money you end up with.
After taking a thorough and honest inventory of the things you no longer
need or want and can sell think about how to market what you have.
Remember one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Display and talk
about your trash with a treasure like tone.
One of America’s greatest garage sales of all time can give us a great
example of how a little marketing can raise a substantial amount of money
for paying off debt. In 1815 Thomas Jefferson was facing massive debts
late in his life and was tired of the related stress of managing it. In
order to raise money to make a larger dent in the $46,000.00 he owed
(about $500,000.00 in 2010 dollars) he decided to have his version of a
garage sale. One thing he had was a huge library of nearly 6,500 books. By
this time in his life he certainly had read many books and decided that
these books could be used better some where else.
Jefferson decided to put the books up for sale and inquired if Congress
would be interested in purchasing them. The timing of Jefferson’s sale was
good for Congress as their own reference materials had been burned as a
result of the British overrunning Washington DC during the War of 1812. In
order to entice Congress into making the purchase Jefferson also sweetened
the deal by organizing the books by categories of History, Philosophy, and
Fine Arts. This interesting marketing tip can be used by anyone. Rather
than putting everything into one pile arrange items in a more appealing
manner and even include descriptions of the item and how it can be used.
The final vote to buy the books was not unanimous, but passed by 10 votes.
On January 30, 1815, President James Madison approved this measure decided
on by Congress. With the completion of this sale the Library of Congress
was formed and started out as the library congressional members could use
for research and education. Jefferson was paid $23,950.00 for all of his
books which was estimated to be about 20% of their original value. Even so
Jefferson was able to immediately eliminate half of his enormous debt.
So what do you have in your home that isn’t being used anymore? Could that
old saw cut your bills in half? Will those old prom shoes let you walk
away from debt? Jefferson wasn’t using those books anymore and was able to
not only raise enough money to pay off half of his debt right away, but
also helped create the Library of Congress! Also, remember that just like
Jefferson didn’t set up folding tables in the front yard of Monticello and
put 6,500 books out for sale, you don’t necessarily have to either. Today,
you have more tools at your disposal then Jefferson had. Jefferson did not
have Ebay or Craigslist. He didn’t have “Tradio” or online newspaper
classified ads. Making money off of your unwanted items has never been
easier (or smarter).
The Yard Sale
Thomas Jefferson: Passionate Pilgrim, The Presidency, the Founding of the
University, and the Private Battle, Alf J. Mapp, p. 275
Sterling Biographies: Thomas Jefferson: Architect of Freedom, Rita Thievon
Quote source: ThinkExist.com